Leveraging Managed Services to Transform Your Business

As security integrators and dealers, we're in constant pursuit of opportunities to enhance the services we offer to our customers, as well as grow our businesses. Today's integrated solutions and open platforms are presenting more of these opportunities than ever before. But as many integrators and dealers consider how they can evolve with rapidly changing technologies such as mobile, cloud computing and more, they may think the infrastructure and resources required to add capabilities to their portfolios are out of reach. Enter managed services.

The managed services model enables integrators and dealers to leverage the expertise of trusted partners to introduce the latest technologies and advanced solutions. The model positions an outside, third-party organization as the provider of specific solutions that the integrator or dealer might not otherwise be able to offer. By embracing the managed services model, integrators and dealers can take advantage of the knowledge, resources and existing services of partner organizations. Such collaborations can help integrators and dealers expand their portfolios, even with limited internal resources and infrastructure.

But how do you know when you're ready for this type of relationship? How do you know when you're ready for managed services?

The most compelling case for a managed services partnership is the ability to evolve your portfolio without investing in new infrastructure or additional staff. Instead, you leverage the infrastructure-networks, software, hardware-and expert workforce of a third party.

This saves you time and allows you to begin generating revenue much sooner. The result is the ability to provide your customers with access to expanded, valuable, sought-after services and solutions with minimal investment and risk, a manageable learning curve and accelerated speed to market.

Today's managed services-managed access control, remote video monitoring and management and more-often rely on technologies such as Internet protocol (IP) for their delivery. That's why integrators and dealers who have interest in adding such services to their portfolios must be technologically savvy. They must understand how IP and other emerging technologies are changing the security industry delivery model. And they must have the right resources on board to enable them to sell, install and service advanced solutions. If your workforce is conversant in and aligned with the principles of these advanced technologies, you've already met one of the prerequisites.

If you're considering managed services, it may be because your customers are asking for the advanced solutions and services such a relationship could enable you to provide. Or, because such services are more frequently included in your customers' requests for proposals. Perhaps you've even experienced attrition because your current portfolio isn't robust enough to respond to your customers' evolving needs.

Whatever the reason, integrators and dealers who enhance their portfolios with managed services are often poised to have more frequent, meaningful interactions with their existing customers. These interactions can lead to more satisfied customers. And they can result in stickier, more profitable relationships.

A managed services relationship can provide integrators with the resources to transform their businesses. If you're keeping pace with the evolution of technology and you have growth capacity, your organization may be ready to leverage managed services to expand its portfolio and enhance customer relations.

Steven E. Ipson is the director, Advanced Dealer Development, for the Diebold Advanced Dealer Program, Uniontown, Ohio, www.diebold.com.